Zuppa Ingelse, English Trifle

Making Zuppa Inglese: Enjoy!

Making Zuppa Inglese: Enjoy!

Though Italian cookbooks wonder at the origins of this pudding’s name, it really is an English trifle, in other words a pudding made by interlayering cake with cream and other ingredients. It’s especially common in Tuscany, in part because the English who lived in the region a century ago often asked for it, but you will find it throughout the Peninsula. It can be served either chilled, or, if you prefer, partially frozen, though if you take that route be careful lest it freeze solid.

To serve 4-6 you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces (200 g) Savoiardi or ladyfingers
  • 3 cups (750 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • An ounce (30 g) bitter cocoa powder
  • 4 yolks
  • 1/2 cup of rum
  • 1/2 cup Alkermes or other aromatic liqueur, for example Strega or Amaretto
  • Whipped cream and maraschino cherries for decoration
  • A deep, smooth-sided mold, lined with aluminum foil or oiled paper
Making Zuppa Inglese: Spread Crema Over the Savoiardi

Making Zuppa Inglese: Spread Crema Over the Savoiardi

Put all but a half cup of the milk in a pot and set the pot over a very gentle flame. Beat the yolks in a deep bowl with 3/8 cup (75 g) of the sugar, and then sift in the flour, beating steadily so as to obtain a smooth, lump-free pastry cream.

Put the remaining sugar in another pot and mix the cocoa into it, then stir a tablespoon or two of cold milk into the mixture and heat it over a low flame, being careful to avoid the formation of lumps.

Gently stir the remaining cold milk into the egg mixture, and then, stirring constantly and gently, add the hot milk to the cream. When the cream is well mixed, gently pour it back into the pot you used to heat the milk and return it to the slow burner. Heat, stirring, until it barely reaches a boil, and cook for two minutes, stirring gently. Remove the pot from the fire, pour half the cream into a bowl, and gently stir the chocolate into the remaining half so as to obtain both pastry cream and chocolate cream.

Mix the rum and Alkermes with a quarter cup of water in a bowl, brush the Savoiardi with the mixture (don’t soak them, or they will sweat out the excess later), and use them to line the pudding mold. Next, pour the pastry cream over the Savoiardi, cover it with a layer of brushed Savoiardi, and finish with the chocolate cream, followed by a final layer of brushed Savoiardi. Cover the pudding with aluminum foil and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

This is one way to prepare it, and come time to serve it, you will want to remove the foil, cover the mold with a serving dish and upend it, so the pudding comes to rest upon the serving dish. Remove the aluminum or oiled paper you used to line the mold, and decorate the zuppa inglese with dollops of whipped cream from a pastry sack, and maraschino cherries cut in half.

My wife instead covers the final layer of savoiardi with a little more cream, and decorates the cream with swirls of chocolate before refrigerating the zuppa inglese. She then serves it direct from the bowl.

This recipe, illustrated
A Neapolitan Zuppa Inglese

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Categories: Puddings and Spoon Desserts, Tuscan Cakes, Biscotti and Sweets

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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